English Verb Tenses (from my teacher NB (NZ) My best wishes to her)

Present Forms
Present Simple Present Continuous Present Perfect Present Perfect Continuous
Time expressions, markers Usually, often,always, every day/week/month/year, in the morning/afternoon/evening, at night, at the weekend, on Mondays etc now, at the moment, at present, these days, still, nowadays, today, tonight etc For, since, already, yet, always, just, ever, never, so far, today, this week/month etc, how long, lately, recently, still, etc for, since, how long, lately, recently
When to use:

* for permanent states

He works in a bank                                                              

* repeated actions and daily routines 

They take the train to work every morning

* for actions taking place now, at the moment of speaking

He is giving the baby a bath at the moment

* for an action which started in the past and continues up to the present

Kate has had the dog for 3 years

* to put emphasis on the duration of an action which started in the past and continues up to present 

Sam has been talking on the phone for half an hour

* for general truths and law of nature 

 The sun sets on the west

* for temporary actions that are going on around now, but not at the actual moment of speaking 

I am looking for a new job these days

* for an action which has recently finished and whose result is visible in the present    

She has just washed her hair

* for an action which started in the past and lasted for some time. The action may have finished or may still be going on. The result of the action is visible in the present

Her feet hurt. She has been walking all morning.

* for timetables (planes,trains, etc) and programmes

The plane from Brussels arrives at 8:30

* for expressing annoyance, irritation or anger

You are constantly interrupting me when I am talking.

* for an action which happened at an unstated time in the past. The exact is not mentioned because it is either unknown or unimportant. The emphasis is placed on the action 

The Taylors have bought yacht

* for expressing annoyance, irritation or anger                                                      

Somebody has been sitting at my desk

* for sports commentaries

Peterson overtakes Williams and wins the race.                                                                  

* for actions that we have already arranged to do in the near future, especially when the time and place have been decided

They are moving into their new house next week

* for an action which has happened within a specific time period which is not over at the moment of speaking.

She has taken 15 pictures today (today is not over yet. She may take more pictures)

* narration                                    

Then the prince gets on his horse  and quickly rides away

* for changing or developing situations

More and more people are moving into the cities.

Past Forms
Past Simple Past Continuous Past Perfect Past Perfect Continuous
Time expressions, markers yesterday,then, when, how long ago..? last night/week/month/year/Tuesday, etc, 3 days/weeks,etc ago, in 1997, etc. while, when, as, all morning/evening/day/night, etc before, after, already, just, for, since, till/until, when, by, by  the time, never etc for, since, how long, before, until etc
When to use:

* for an action which happened at a definite time in the past. The time is stated, already known or implied                     

They went camping by the lake last month.

* for an action which was in progress at a stated time in the past. We do not mention when the action started or finished.

At 7 o'clock yestarday evening they were having dinner.

* for an action which happened before another past action or before a stated time in the past

She had finished work when she met her friends for coffee.

* to put emphasis on the duration of an action which started and finished in the past before another past action or a stated time in the past, usually with since or for 

They had been looking for a house for six months before they found one they liked

* for actions which happened immideately one after the other in the past

First she paid the driver, then she got out of the taxi.

* for an action which was in progress when another action interrupted it. We use past continuous for the action in progress(longer action) and the past simple for the action which interrupted it (shorter action)

He was walking down the street when he ran into and old friend.

* for an action which finished in the past and whose result was visible in the past 

He was happy. He had signed an important contract

* for anaction which lasted for some time in the past and whose result was visible in the past

Last Friday Ron had to fly to New York. Hisflight was delayed. He was annoyed. He had been waiting at the airport for three hours.

* for past habbits or states which are now finished. In such cases we can also use the expression USED TO

Kitchens were/used to be very different a hundred years ago.

* for two or more simultaneous past actions.

She was talking on her mobile phone whike she was driving to work.

* past perfect is the past equivalent of the present perfect

He had fixed the old armchair. It looked brand new

* past perfect continuous is the past equivalent of the present perfect continuous

I had been driving for ten hours, so I felt exhausted.

* to describe the atmosphere, setting, etc in the introduction to a story before we describe the main events.

One beautiful autumn afternoon Ben was walking downa quite country lane. The birds were singing and the sun was shining.

Future forms
Future Simple Future Continuous Future Perfect Future Perfect Continuous
Time expressions, markers tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, tonight, soon, next week/month/year, in a week/month/year, in two/three days/weeks etc before, by, then, by the time, until/till. by, for
When to use:

* in predictions about the future usually with the verbs think, believe, expect, etc. The expressions be sure, be afraid, etc and the adverbs probably, perhabs, certainly, etc

I am afraid we won't be on time for the meeting.

* for an action which will be in progress at a stated future time

This time next week we will be cruising round the islands

* for an action which will be finished before a stated future time.

She will have finished the report by tomorrowo'clock

* to emphasise the duration of an action up to a certain time in the future

By the end of next month she will have been teaching for twenty years.

* for immidiate decisions 

I will order this cheese cake

* for an action which will definitely happen in the future as the result of a routine or arrangement

Don't call Julia. I will be seeing her later, so I will pass the message on.

* for promises (usually with the verbs promise, swear, guarantee etc) threats, warnings, requests, hopes and offers 

I don't understand this exercise. Will you help me with it? (request)

* when we ask politely about someone's plans for the near future (we want to know if our wishes fit in with their plans) 

Will you be using the photocopier for long? No, why? I need to make some photocopies

* for actions/events/situations which will definetly happen in the future and which we cannot control

The temperature will reach 40C tomorrow.